Lakers’ NBA Cares Event Cancelled Amid China-Hong Kong Protests Controversy
The NBA Cares event involving the Los Angeles Lakers in Shanghai was cancelled Wednesday, just hours before it was set to begin. This is just another development stemming from the comments of Daryl Morey supporting the Hong Kong protesters.
The only statement the NBA would giveabout the cancellation was that it was not their decision to stop the event. The event was meant to benefit the Special Olympics. A fan event that was scheduled for Wednesday was also cancelled.
On Tuesday, an NBA Cares event was supposed to take place with the Brooklyn Nets at an education center in Shanghai was also axed by the Chinese government. Commissioner Adam Silver said the NBA would still donate computers to the center.
The Lakers had a closed practice on Wednesday and are still slated to play two preseason games against the Nets in China. Silver is expected to address both teams later on Wednesday.
Silver spoke in Japan on Tuesday telling press he and the league are “apologetic” over the outcome and reaction that followed Morey’s tweet, but he also said that “we are not apologizing for Daryl exercising his freedom of expression.”
Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said it will no longer air the preseason games in China. They are also reviewing all cooperation and exchanges involving the NBA, they said in a statement posted to CCTV Sports’ official social media account.
“We’re strongly dissatisfied and oppose Adam Silver’s claim to support Morey’s right to freedom of expression,” the statement read. “We believe that any remarks that challenge national sovereignty and social stability are not within the scope of freedom of speech.”
Silver is doing his best to keep the policies he’s kept since being commissioner, allowing all players and staff to express share they feel about topics, big or small. The verdict is still out on what will happen with the relationship between China and the NBA after Morey’s single statement.